Parent News

Mrs. Fitzgerald's Class Newsletter

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Upcoming Week: Reader's Workshop

One of my favorite things to teach kids is characterization and the way characters grow and change over time, and we are in the midst of this right now. Students are studying Patricia Polacco books, but also their own choice books to "notice and note" how character act, change, or even grow in a story. This week they learned how to identify a-ha moments in a story. An a-ha moment is when the author purposefully writes in words that let the reader know that a character has learned or discovered something new. Such as, at that very moment I realized. This comes from a book called Notice and Note, and it is all about building in thinking strategies while reading.

Next week I will introduce another Notice and Note stopping point called again and again. This is when an author brings something up over and over or something appears again and again. Student are going to stop to notice and note why the author would do this. What is the message he/she is sending to the reader. They will be using post it notes to track their thinking about these moments as well as about characters. We will also continue to study theme, as it is a difficult concept for students to understand. Below you will see our anchor charts for this week as well as a sample anchor for next weeks lesson.

As students are reading at home, stop and ask them to notice something about the text for you. Ask them, did you have any a-ha moments pop up in the story?

Upcoming Week: Writer's Workshop

Students have spent this week developing fictional characters and beginning to plot out the stories that these characters are a part of. We are modeling this right after what we are learning in reader's workshop. Fictional characters change and grow in stories, so students have been thoughtfully writing struggles and changes into their stories. This is a tough task. Friday they started to plot out the paragraphs of what will become their stories.

Next week students will start typing their rough drafts into google drive. This is a new way of writing for many students, so this process will teach them several different things. One, I can type my rough draft into a document. It doesn't have to be hand written. Two, I can edit and revise my story as I type. And three, it's easy for me to go back and read to see if my story makes sense and if I need to add or adjust, when it is all typed out. Publishing also becomes an easier task. Google doc also allows me to go in and see exactly where each student is at any time. I can leave them a message of a specific thing I want them to work on, and when they are done they can send me a message saying that it is done.

Our mini lessons this week will focus on powerful beginnings, paragraphing, and strong endings.

Word study: This week we will focus on words that have the vowel sound of al, aw, or o as in the words talk, raw, or cost

Upcoming Week: Math Workshop

What an amazing week in math problem solving workshop. I have seen some amazing problem solving strategies out of your students. They are growing in understanding concepts as well as understanding how to solve difficult real world problems in math. We have looked at perimeter and area this week.

Below you will some of the strategies that students are using as exemplars in the classroom to help them think or solve problems. We hang these up in class.

Next week we will review measurement, area, and perimeter and take an assessment. Our next unit will be on multiplication. We will begin with the basics of what is multiplication and why do we use it. What techniques can help me solve a multiplication problem? We will continue our problem solving and growing understanding of multiplication within word problems as well.

Ways to study multiplication at home: Group items in equal groups (3 groups of 4 paperclips) and ask the student to skip count to get the answer - 4, 8, 12.

Play card games. Turn two cards over, and multiply the card totals. Whoever has the highest product wins.

Find online multiplication games. I will be introducing students to a few online resources in the very near future. This is a good one:


We are going to have a Friends-giving celebration and gathering in school for our class on Tuesday November 24th. Each student will bring in one food to share with their classmates. For instance, a box of crackers or a bag of cheese cubes to share with the whole class. If each student brings in just a little bit, we end up with a variety of foods and a feast to share together. Nothing extravagant is needed, but just simple and easy to bring in. We have no food allergies in our room.

We will spend this day learning about early settlers, the pilgrim's way of life, and how they shared food to celebrate as well as survive. It is always a great time. I will talk with students about our friends-giving next week, but I wanted to give you a heads up.

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Upcoming Week:

This week our library day will be on MONDAY! Please make sure your student brings their books. We have several kiddos that are forgetting almost every week, and are unable to check out new books.

Specials Next Week:

M - PE

T - Tech

W - Art

Th - Music

Fri - PE


Parents, please note that kids need to bring a jacket to school for outdoor recess. Please remind them to wear their coats, hats, and gloves as our weather continues to get cooler. Thank you.

Have an amazing week!!

I look forward to a great week of learning together!

Reaching Mrs. Fitz

Don't forget to ask to follow our class account on Twitter. I post several pictures a week!